#atinylife medal

Having trans kids requires a very particular kind of parenting. One of the things that happens – and there are A LOT of things that happen, not all of them are this good – is that (some) people tell me I’m wonderful.

I know! How very dare they?

Thing is, I don’t want, nor do I deserve, a medal. What, for accepting that my kids are who they say they are? I’d like to think, if you’re reading this, you would do the same for yours.

Yeah, maybe I go out to bat for them most days. Sometimes sticking up for them means I get hurt. Lose people I love, distance myself from others. But: I still get to walk around this world as a cis woman. My life is, and always will be, easier than theirs.

That’s part of cis privilege.  

#atinylife period

What is so holy about the blood from a womb?

And am I then, a non-woman, an un-woman? For tabletting these days away with modern medicine we are meant to feel guilty about, because Christianity, because feminized fish?

Because I wear my hair short, never wear a dress flowing red or black, because I do not limit women to cis white sock robots, because I include my trans sisters and my enby siblings, because the patriarchy is delighted when we police each other’s clotted tampons.

When we accidently leave out those who have had hysterectomies over hysteria of a battered woman who needs a shelter, who was never a man in the first place.

All humans bleed. Some more than your soaked gusset, your baby-home-nest clear out. Your curse does not give you the right to cast legislation over others.  

#atinylife harmony

If you sing the tune it doesn’t mean you can never harmonise.

If you sing harmonies it doesn’t mean you can’t ever sing the tune.

If you sing the tune

it’s not that the tune is ‘right’

and harmonies are ‘wrong.’

If you sing a passing note it doesn’t matter,

because it resolves,

and what’s it got to do with anyone else anyway?

If you sing, it’s not a phase, it’s part of who you are,

even if you haven’t sung since you were seventeen.

If you sung harmonies, then stopped, sang the tune for the rest of your life,

it is part of what you are. It is part of your history. Why would you want to erase your own exploration?

Listen to the richness of the sound around you.

Listen to the richness of the people around you.

#atinylife thanksfornothing

Someone suggests an update to some legislation. It’s kind of controversial, from some angles, so they do a consultation. Over 70% of people respond and say ‘yep, sounds good.’

They decide not to update the legislation.

And if it was just this, I would be fine. I mean, it’s paperwork. It’s disappointing, it’s not surprising.

But it’s not only this. It’s the 18 month wait for your kid to be seen by someone who knows less about gender than you do. It’s the four emails a week to school because people are deliberately misgendering your child and then claiming they are entitled to their opinion that there are only two genders. It’s the memories of the times you couldn’t walk down the streets of your own village. It’s watching your child become more and more withdrawn. It’s news like this.

#atinylife calling out

As the parent of a non-binary child, I find myself often – too often – in the position of ‘calling out’ certain behaviour online.

I used to enjoy grammar policingcalling out until someone accused me, correctly, of snobbery. I spend a lot of time trying to remember how to respond when Mr HB says, ‘Stella, that’s racist.’ (Top tip: defensiveness is not how we learn. Top tip 2: we are all racist, whether we care to admit to it or not.)

I don’t relish calling out a person for pronoun use, or transphobia, or just a  not-thinking of making an online comment that is damaging/othering/offensive to the community that parent the LGBTQ community. Maybe it looks like I enjoy it.

I can assure you: I write the comment.

I worry about it.

I brace myself.

 

But not saying anything at all? Not an option.

#atinylife Karenisnotaslur

KarenI mean, of course Karen is not a slur. I was interested, however to find this definition of ‘a Karen,’ that 100% is me (apart from the blonde hair part).

But the value of being these things: entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged and white has not been lost on me.

Ever since I started having to tell the world that no, my child wasn’t a girl or a boy, and no, they couldn’t choose between Miss or Master, and no, they weren’t happy when staff at school used the term ‘girls and boys’ (it’s hurtful because it doesn’t apply to them).

And yes, there would need to be a change or an adaption to the system to make sure they fit. And yes, they (and I!) would require support from many different agencies.

And yes, they were entitled to all of these things.

#atinylife sing

You know I try not to think about male privilege all the time…

Right, now everyone else has clicked off this post – it’s just – OK, I admit that I have never learned to play an instrument. I play oboe, but that doesn’t translate into a folk session environment. I’m lucky to have several people in my life who play the guitar for me – and I’m grateful for each and every one of them.

sing

 

But without them, I can’t sing at a session. The men usually have huge voices, and can sing away. Folk join in, or listen, or sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t matter – because they can be heard.

It doesn’t often happen that I’m at a session without anyone to play for me. But when it does, I’m left feeling less-than. Because my voice, literally can’t be heard.

#tinylife Clarks: good news!

Don’t judge me for shopping for school shoes three weeks after our term started.

OKClarks, judge me if you like!

But I just had to share – especially after the whole dolly-babe nonsense – that we had the best surprise when we went to Clarks yesterday.

I was all for going to JD or Schuh, but it turns out my children are creatures of habit. So in we went, to the shop we’ve gone to since my oldest was getting their first walking shoe. They have gravitated to the ‘girls’ side since they could toddle.

Yesterday, I looked at the ‘girls’ side. And there was no girls side.

Clarks at Fort Kinnaird have mixed their shoes – they’ve got a trainer wall, and the smarter shoes are on the right.

To some people this would mean nothing. To me it means so much.

#atinylife shoes – a guest post by Joanne Baird, Portobello Book Blog

There’s been a lot of debate about girls’ shoes lately.

The stereotypical names – “Dance Honey”, “Dolly Babe”

Their impractical flimsy nature which doesn’t allow for splashing, running, playing

Unlike the corresponding boys’ styles – “Long Jump”, “Harlem Racer”

Does it get better with ladies’ shoes?

I don’t want fashionable. tinylife-shoes.jpg

I want shoes I can wear for more than one season.

I don’t do heels. Ever. I want practical not painful.

I don’t want to pay £70 or more for something that falls apart after one summer.

I want shoes that don’t look like my granny’s, without costing a fortune.

Too much to ask? It seems so.

Men have it easy. Everything is strong, practical, functional.

There’s too much choice, yet not enough.

I don’t fit the stereotype – and I hate shoe shopping!

While we’re on the subject, I don’t do handbags either…..

 

#atinylife DollyBabe

DollyBabe

It’s not the name I object to.

Well, that’s not true.

I mean, the name is just.

Awful.

DollyBabe is not what you’d hope for

In a girl’s shoe name.

But the name is only on the box,

Isn’t it?

In Clarks?

Possibly on the underside

of the shoe.

Which, although present, is not as obvious as some

T shirts.

‘I’d rather be shopping’

 

I saw, the other day.

Age 4-5.

What upsets me

more

would be

of more distress to Clarks.

and

(ahem)

clothing outlets.

tinylifee dollybabe

 

 

Look at those shoes.

 

You can’t climb in them

You can’t splash in them

You can’t run fast on slippy grass in them.

They have no grips

They wouldn’t withstand

A light shower, for goodness sake!

 

So,

yes.

Dolly Babe.

Not keen.

But also,

shoes that curtail

what girls

can do?

Not keen either.